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By Brian Robinson

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Military, intell agencies dismiss DARPA-led cyber range

It looks like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) may be getting squeezed out of the competition to build a test range for potential cyber security solutions, with pushback from both military and intelligence agencies who want to see more speed and action.

The main complaint about DARPA over the years has been the difficulty it has had in turning lab technology into operational systems, according to a story in Aviation Week, so the potential customers of the cyber testing range have apparently been pressing for a bigger say in the actual testing and deployment of cyber systems.

“The services didn’t want to wait around for DARPA,” the story quotes a senior program official saying. “The Navy’s 10th Fleet Cyber Command wants to expand a small range at Network Warfare Command in Little Creek, Va. The National Security Agency wants a range at Fort Meade, Md. And the 24th Air Force wants its own capabilities.”

DARPA’s goal with the cyber range is to revolutionize the state of cyber testing, according to Michael VanPutte, the DARPA program manager of the National Cyber Range. That entails a fully automatic range that can be rapidly configured to “get the results back out to the community.”

The cyber range is a part of the Bush era Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which is a governmentwide rather than strictly a military undertaking. It was supposed to be a focal point for industry and government to test their cyber tools.

However, it’s not happening fast enough for the various intelligence agencies. The seven-year program envisioned by DARPA is considered way too slow—which means DARPA may now be involved only up to the prototyping stage and not in the actual building of the range.

 

Posted by Brian Robinson on Jun 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM


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